• Hey Prairie Dawg, “Our choice was to go with the USED machine”

    Excellent decision now let’s see if going with “USED” was the right choice after all:

    First off I can only imagine the thought process went something like this: I really like the New machine and how fresh the stickers and paint look, no bent up metal and missing bolts. I can get right to work immediately and start making money, the new machine has all its warranties and I won’t have to worry about breakdowns causing me any downtime. Although the Used machine is so much easier on my budget and it comes with everything I was hoping the new one would but doesn’t, at least not without justifying the sale of my left kidney. I’m so nervous these immaculate maintenance and production logs are too good to be true and with my luck the machine will break down unloading it off the trailer as the hours are starting to get up there. Yes, this decision was extremely difficult on so many levels and then so very easy on others, however I never thought I could get through it without having some form of buyer’s remorse?

    This is where I quickly remind you that you are just experimenting with this new product offering in an uncertain market and you’re really not sure if this will even be something your existing customer base is interested in like they are where your brother is doing business. So in all actuality, production for these first couple of seasons will most likely be limited until the demographic marketable research and their feasibility studies have been determined valid.

    • Fading stickers and scratched up paint won’t make the product or productivity any better in this case and all of the sudden that minimized monthly payment really looks good now that the product isn’t flying out of the yard just yet.
    • Maybe those higher hours aren’t as troublesome since you’re only running about half as much as you originally calculated in the good ole business plan.

    Not trying to be “Debbie Downer” on the hopeful product becoming your cash cow, just reassuring you that you have chosen wisely for today’s market. On a very positive note this slower introductory pace allows you get to know your somewhat aged machine but also creates some welcomed margin when documenting secondary repairs or improvement schedules that can be much better regulated and budgeted versus the 911 reaction often incurred when breaking down under extreme productivity stresses which even New equipment is susceptible.

    OK, a couple years have passed and the market has started to finally show signs of increased productivity becoming a reality, now what?

    Will this Used machine continue to provide reliability?

    • As stated for New Equipment so goes it for Used – continue to make certain your group is filling out daily production reports to show the service or maintenance provider even the manufacturer who hopefully is still within reach if necessary some sort of consistent baselines tracking necessary for assistance should it abruptly change.
    • Make certain oil and all associated consumables are following manufacturers suggested intervals of maintenance and continue to provide detailed record keeping.
    • Keep broken parts that have been replaced in an area designated as these parts may be later researched if an ongoing issue has developed but yet to be fully identified of an absolute cause. Often times inspection or comparable examinations of these parts will likely reveal issues ahead of or beyond the actual item suffering the damage.
    • Institute good housekeeping practices all around the equipment as this provides the operator and maintenance crews better accessibility to keeping these plants properly maintained.

    With just these minimal points listed you will not only insure better longevity and utilization of this Used machine including productivity you will likely provide an opportunity to once more trade this machine in towards a New or Newer model machine or potentially sell outright to another would be budget minded buyer as you were a few years back.

    From a dealer’s perspective these well-kept Used pieces of equipment can literally provide payback on investment for multiple decades of time if properly utilized and maintained.

    Most dealers like to have quality, documented used equipment within their grasp as the diversity of buyers is always as broad as the equipment available and very often catches all would-be buyers onto their property.

    Are their dealers or individuals who will try and liquidate used equipment that is knowingly in bad condition or even nonfunctional? Yes. As-Is is exactly what it means but even at this level machines can still be brought back and once again prove valuable just as long as everyone is aware of the risks.

    Used equipment purchases even today can be some of the best decisions made from the startup company to the 100 year plus organization. As long as you have some commonsense understanding or guidelines such as briefly discussed above, you can really benefit from that little bit rusty bent up mid to high mileage creampuff.

    Questions? Tim Holmberg prairiedawg@pdpractical.com

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